Another 132 hospital beds, including 64 ICU beds, are being added to Atlanta’s health care system this month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Piedmont Healthcare said it will open the 16-story, $603 million Marcus Tower at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital four months early on April 13 to provide additional intensive care capacity for COVID-19 patients.
The additional 132 beds are part of three ICU and acute nursing units spread over the tower’s 6th, 7th and 8th floors. The units will house both COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients, Piedmont Healthcare said in an announcement.
The rest of the tower, which will house units including the Piedmont Heart Institute and the Marcus Heart and Vascular Center, will open in August.
“By opening this part of the tower early, we are increasing capacity at a critical time when our community needs it the most,” said Dr. Patrick Battey, CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. “Getting these beds ready for patients who may need them during the COVID-19 outbreak was the right thing to do, and I am proud of the staff at Piedmont and our partners on the project who made it happen.”
Piedmont’s project management team, working with partners Brasfield & Gorrie, CBRE and HKS, accelerated the completion of floors 6-8. Manufacturers shipped equipment ahead of schedule to achieve the goal. Crews worked extended schedules, including weekends, to complete the floors for patients, and Piedmont Atlanta staff members planned, tested equipment and trained in the space in preparation.
“Piedmont exists to serve its communities and there is no greater way that we can serve them than by increasing our capacity with this state-of-the-art facility during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kevin Brown, president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare, said in the statement. “Because of the great work our team on the project has performed by already being ahead of schedule, we were able to advance the timeline further to open these ICU and acute care units and have them ready in case we need them.”
The Marcus Tower will also include the Samsky Invasive Cardiovascular Services Center, and the Shaheen Auditorium as well as technologically advanced operating rooms, cardiac labs, critical and acute care facilities, and up to 408 beds.
The Marcus Tower was approved by the Georgia Department of Community Health on Dec. 12, 2016. At the time, the $603 million project was the largest health care project to date in Georgia.
It’s named for the $75 million grant from Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus‘ Marcus Foundation that kicked off Piedmont’s renovation of its main campus and the addition of the tower.